Circle Jerks emerged from the punk underbelly of LA’s South Bay in 1979. After serving as a co-founder and lead vocalist of Black Flag during the recording of its essential Nervous Breakdown EP, Keith Morris joined forces with Greg Hetson to form what would become Circle Jerks, along with bassist Roger Rogerson and jazz drummer Lucky Lehrer. Unlike much of the unapologetic hardcore that seeped through the cracks of American suburbia, the music of the Circle Jerks was thoughtfully steadfast, yet relentless and ferocious in nature. Bringing together a potent, articulate rhythm section with earnest yet oftentimes derisive lyrics and themes, the band was thereafter heralded as a leader of the pack – and a force to be reckoned with.
Plowing forward with a relentless, tooth-cutting work ethic and a rousing stage presence, the band would soon find itself headlining shows at LA’s 5,000-capacity Olympic Auditorium and emblazoned in cult video classics like Decline of Western Civilization, Repo Man, New Wave Theatre, and The Slog Movie. Over the decades, Circle Jerks would release six studio albums, including the acclaimed Group Sex (1980) Wild in the Streets (1982), Golden Shower of Hits (1983), Wonderful (1985), and IV (1987), where they would become a major headliner during the alternative music explosion of the 80’s and 90’s.
The long list of those influenced by the legacy of the Circle Jerks ranges from Butthole Surfers to Red Hot Chili Peppers – with notable fans being Dogtown skateboarders, Chuck Berry, Alice Cooper, Elton John, Johnny Depp, Guns N’ Roses, and Philip K. Dick. Decades later, their music continues to make an imprint on generations of diverse music fans and those who challenge the status quo.
The Group Sex Deluxe Reissue features packaging by Robert Fisher, designer of Nirvana’s Nevermind, a bonus recording of a 1980 rehearsal, a 20-page booklet including unreleased photos and anecdotes from Tony Hawk, Mike Patton, Shepard Fairey, Ian MacKaye, Lars Frederiksen and many others, in addition to a quality repackaging in a limited colored vinyl schema. The remastered audio is available across all digital retailers and has now sold out of its first two pressings on vinyl format. Check here for updates.